Wyman rejects district society ‘myths’

Seeking to destroy the ‘myths and misconceptions’ around the new structure, Wyman has set out a number of key arguments supporting the institute’s reforms.

‘Recent discussions with a number of members around the country have made me realise that there are some misconceptions about what we are planning,’ Wyman said.

The move will be seen as a counter-attack against plans to force an extraordinary general meeting to debate the issues, led by South Essex District Society member Don Heady.

Reacting to allegations that the institute had acted in bad faith over the ‘misuse’ of members’ signatures calling for an egm, Wyman said: ‘Given the seven months it has taken thus far to collect signatures, we have a duty to provide our members with an up-to-date picture of the regional plans and to give them an opportunity to clarify any concerns they may have.’

Denying the institute intended to persuade members to withdraw their support for the EGM, Wyman said: ‘We have no intention of putting any pressure on members to withdraw their signature. Our legal advisers have confirmed that we have acted properly at all times.’

But Wyman also said some had already pulled out.

‘A number of members who previously signed the requisition have now withdrawn their support for an egm and feedback from district society officer-holders indicates that others may follow,’ he said.

Wyman also confirmed a formal requisition for the egm had not been lodged as the campaigners were still short of the total number of necessary signatures.

A number of society office-holders have also come out fighting against the egm.

Richard Ransom, who has just stepped down as president of the Nottingham, Derby and Lincolnshire society said: ‘We all had fears, but the way things have been moved on we have been convinced that the plans will now take us forward. The new structure will be much more efficient without losing the volunteer effort.’

Brian Bush, president of the Thames Valley society, said: ‘None of the presidents are going to give up their independence, so are we all misguided.

‘The new structure will support the district societies, not replace them.’


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